Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) Guide

10 min read|Last Updated: December 5, 2023|

If you are a foreigner earning a monthly salary of $18,000 and would like to start a business or seek for a new job, you can consider apply for the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass.

What is a Singapore Personalised Employment Pass?

Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a special visa that falls under the professional tier of the work pass visa issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

A PEP is issued to top-tier foreign professionals and managers with exceptional technical or domain expertise in an area related to their prospective job and is chosen based on the applicant’s individual merits. The other 2 work pass under the professional tier are the Employment Pass (EP) and Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass).

Unlike the 2 visas, the PEP is a self-sponsored working visa, meaning that you do not need an employer’s company to apply for you. You can apply without a job in Singapore and while living overseas.

Therefore, a PEP holder visa is not exclusively attached to only one employer. There are many advantages such as taking a 6 months break from any job or being involved in business coaching etc.

Benefits of a Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

Having a PEP comes with many benefits. Unlike other passes where you are bound by the employer,

  • Holding this PEP will give you the freedom to explore and pursue your desired employment opportunity. Since the pass holder is not bound under any specific employer, the additional perk here is that the holder is able to switch jobs without the need of applying new work passes. They can simply notify the authority by submitting a PEP notification form to MOM for any change of jobs within 7 days.

    Compared to other work visas where you need to secure a job first, for PEP you might not necessarily have a job offer in Singapore. This is because PEP allows you to stay in Singapore for 6 months continuously while being unemployed and seeking for potential job opportunity.

  • As PEP holder, you are qualified for dependants’ privilege. You are able bring your spouse and children below 21 years, and your parents too but they will need to apply for passes like the Dependant’s Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass.
  • Also, holding the PEP opens pathway to a Singapore permanent residency visa (PR) with highest possibility of approval. Therefore, within 1 year, you may be able to grant a PR approval and live with all the social benefits of a Singapore citizen.

Limitations of a Singapore Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)

The PEP may grant you many privileges. However, the setback is it also comes with its own limitations.

  • PEP is non-renewable and has a validity of 3 years. This means after the period of 3 years, if you still wish to stay and work in Singapore, you can only apply the other 2 alternatives passes – an Employment Pass (EP) or Permanent Resident (PR) visa. If you are unable to secure a job within the given 6 months with the above 2 alternative passes mentioned, your PEP will be cancelled, and you will be given the 30-day short term visit pass instead.
  • Additionally, you are required to earn a minimum annual salary of SG$144,000 for each year spent working here in Singapore. This will also mean that you have the pressure to look for a high salaried job and may have to give a good job opportunity.
  • Another important limitation is that although this pass is given to the person himself and not attached to any company, unfortunately PEP forbids you to own your own business or company in Singapore. Hence, this pass is not desirable for foreign entrepreneurs or investors.
Wan Yi

Am I Eligible for Personalised Employment Pass?

The PEP is meant for top management and professionals, and the eligibility depends on the previous monthly salary draws. 

To be eligible for a PEP, you will need to be either:

  • An existing Employment Pass who earns at least a fixed monthly salary of SG$12,000
  • An overseas-based foreign professional with a last drawn monthly salary of at least SG$18,000. This last drawn salary should be within the past 6 months in order to apply.

Other criteria include:

  • You must not be a freelancer who intends to work without any direct Singapore employers
  • If you are an existing Employment Pass holder, your Employment Pass should not be issued through any sponsorship scheme
  • You must not be a share-holding sole proprietors, partners, or directors of any companies registered with ACRA

Documents Required for Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) Application

There are 2 different documents that you will need to prepare, depending on whether you are an existing Employment Pass (EP) holder or not.

For existing EP Holders For non-EP holders
  • Passport details
  • Name & address of current employer
  • Job & salary
  • Local contact details
  • Details of Dependant’s Pass holders
  • Long-term visit pass holders information
  • Copy of passport (personal details page)
  • Employment contract
  • Past 3 months’ pay slips and bank statements
  • Latest tax statements
  • Resume
  • Educational certifications

You will also need to fill up the PEP application form. All the information and details submitted must be in English. Documents in other languages must be submitted after officially translated.

Processing Time of Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) Application

The processing time for most applications is typically around eight (8) weeks.

Upon approval of your application, you will receive an In-Principle Approval (IPA) letter, which remains valid for a period of six (6) months. It is important to collect your pass within this timeframe from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) office in Singapore.

Additionally, make sure to bring any additional documents that may have been requested in the letter.

If you are granted a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), it will be valid for a duration of three years. Your dependents who hold a Dependent’s Pass sponsored by the PEP will be permitted to stay in Singapore as long as your pass remains valid.

How to Maintain Your Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

All your employment information should be updated. This means that you will need to notify MOM through:
1. PEP Notification Form

  • Changes in employment status (to be updated within 7 days)
  • Change of local contact
  •  Annual salary

2. Employment Pass Online Account (EPOL)

  • Changes or renewals of travel documents
  • Damaged or lost cards
  • Change of residential address

Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) Renewal

There are no options for PEP renewal. In order to continue working after your 3 years with PEP, you can apply for an EP or try to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency. Any cancellation of your PEP can be done at any time but you may not be able to reapply for PEP after cancellation.

Difference between Personalised Employment Pass and Employment Pass

Employment Pass (EP) is a pass directed at foreign professionals working in a managerial or executive position or in any specialised fields.

Both the Employment Pass and Personalised Employment Pass share some similarities such as:

  • Dependents privileges (able to bring family members under Dependant’s Pass or Long-Term Visit Pass)
  • Ability to travel in and out of Singapore without entry visas
  • Ability to apply for Permanent Resident status under certain criteria.

Along with these common features, these 2 passes have some significant differences as well. The differences include:

  • The PEP is not job or employer specific whereas the Employment Pass holder is bound to one employer.
  • PEP is valid for 3 years and is not renewable whereas Employment Pass is valid up to 2 years and is renewable thereafter.
  • Salary criterion. For PEP, holders must earn at least SG$18,000 and for Employment Pass, minimum salary qualification is SG$4,500.
  • For PEP application, it can be done by the applicant unlike the employment pass application, where the employer is obligated to apply on behalf of applicant.
  • For PEP, it is not necessary you have a job secured in Singapore prior to the application, but for Employment Pass you must have a job offer in Singapore with detailed offer letter which you have accepted. Only then you will be able to apply for an Employment Pass.
  • Approval of the PEP is granted based on the strength of individual merits whereas for Employment Pass, the approval is tied to the individuals personal and educational qualifications, specialised skills, relevant work experiences and salary.

How Difficult Is It to Get A Personalised Employment Pass (PEP)?

Acquiring a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) is a relatively straightforward process, provided you gather all the necessary documents, meet the eligibility criteria, present proof of education and salary, and do not hold an existing employment pass. As long as these requirements are fulfilled, applying for a PEP should be a smooth procedure.

However, it is important to note that in certain circumstances, complications may arise during the PEP application process. These complications can occur if there are missing documents or discrepancies in personal details, such as your name.

Converting my Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) to Singapore Permanent Residency

As a holder of the Personalised Employment Pass (PEP), you have the opportunity to apply for Singapore Permanent Residency (PR) after residing in Singapore for a minimum of six months. It is important to note that the PR application process follows a separate set of criteria. The assessment for PR takes into consideration factors such as your individual contributions to Singapore, your family profile, and your ability to integrate into Singaporean culture. There is no specific duration of stay required to be eligible for PR.

If you are interested in pursuing PR, you can read our comprehensive guide on how to apply for Singapore PR for detailed information and instructions.

How to Appeal Against a Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) Rejection?

Rejection of a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) application is rare, unless the applicant fails to meet the salary criteria or breaches specific work pass conditions. However, in the event of a PEP application rejection, applicants are given a three-month period to lodge an appeal. It is important to proceed with an appeal only if there are strong justifications to support your case.

To begin, carefully review the rejection letter issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and focus on the stated reasons for the rejection. Understanding the specific grounds for rejection is crucial in order to prepare a compelling appeal letter and gather relevant supporting documentation.

The PEP appeal process typically takes around 8 to 10 weeks for processing. If you are uncertain about the reasons for the rejection or if the MOM does not provide clear explanations, seeking professional advice from an immigration consultancy is recommended. Their expertise can provide valuable insights, helping you navigate the appeal process effectively and increase your chances of a successful outcome.


To summarise, the Singapore Personalised Employment Pass holders are similar to a self-sponsored Employment Pass holder. In any case after the cessation of employment, Personalised Employment Pass holders can stay in Singapore for up to 6 months.

But what happens after the validity of 3 years?

As the PEP is valid for only 3 years and only one PEP per lifetime, you are tied down on few options at the end:

  • Drop down to an Employment Pass
  • Rise up to PR
  • Leave Singapore

Hence, if your end goal is to work and stay in Singapore for at least another 5 to 7 years, it is rationale that you secure a pass that will benefit you in the long run.

The Singapore Personalised Employment Pass is a desirable choice if you are a qualified top professional. It is also an ideal visa choice for high-calibre executives as it allows more freedom and mobility within the employment market. Thereafter, it allows you to apply for Permanent Resident status and secure your goal of staying in the country.


Come down to our office or get in touch virtually for an assessment to determine your best chance to live & work in Singapore today.


How long is the validity of my Employment Pass?2020-10-22T16:16:59+08:00

The validity of an employment pass is 2 years in general. 

What status is considered locally resident? Is Employment Pass Holder or Work Permit Holder sufficient? What about dependent pass and permanent resident?2020-06-22T14:40:05+08:00

We recognize the followings as “locally resident” – Singapore citizens, Singapore PRs, Employment Pass Holders & Dependant Pass Holders.

How do I know if my company is successfully incorporated in Singapore before my relocation?2020-10-22T16:16:18+08:00

After your company has been successfully incorporated, you will receive the Certificate of Good Standing from ACRA and a Company Business Profile.  Once you have these documents in hand, you will be assured that your company has been successfully incorporated. 

How long the registered company name is being reserved before my company is being incorporated.2020-10-22T16:16:26+08:00

Your registered company name will be reserved for 60 days before incorporation. You can apply for another 60 days extension if you need it. 

If I want to incorporate a Singapore’s Company here, can I bring my family here with Employment Pass?2020-10-22T16:16:02+08:00

Yes. An Employment Pass does include Dependent’s Pass and Long-Term Visit Pass for your family members. 

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